The Internet is the greatest tool ever invented. You can get breaking news in an instant, check the weather forecast any time you want, send documents around the world in a matter of seconds, research a term paper without going to the library and even play a few games in your spare time. How did we ever survive before the Internet came along?
The Internet is the most dangerous tool ever invented. Today, stuff that used to be available only in the red light districts of large cities is easily accessible from the comfort of your own home.
Over the next few weeks this series of articles will take a look at the dangers teens face online and what you, as a parent, can do to protect them. This is not going to be some fluff piece that simply tells you the Internet is dangerous, kids can do bad things online, don’t let them use the Internet. I’m going to shock you, and maybe even offend you, with facts and real world examples of what teenagers are doing while online. Then I’ll show you exactly what you can do to protect your children.
Is the Internet Really Dangerous?
Absolutely! I’ll be blunt… if you allow your teen or child unsupervised and unrestricted use of the Internet you might as well give them a loaded gun to play with and buy them a keg of beer. That may sound harsh, but it’s no more irresponsible.
An alarming percentage of teenagers are talking to strangers in chat rooms, posting inappropriate pictures of themselves on Facebook or MySpace and visiting pornography websites. These activities can lead to embarrassment on the mild side to abduction and even murder on the extreme end. Unfortunately, the ‘extreme end’ is becoming more common place every day.
I hope you’ll decide to become an informed parent. Starting next week we’ll take an in depth look at FaceBook, MySpace and other social networking websites and what goes on inside your child’s password protected account.
Tell your friends about this series and invite them to follow along. You can receive new article notifications via email by entering your email address on the right.